Please come to my workshops in San Francisco/Oakland [Nov. 29th and Dec. 2nd] Read about them and sign up at the Soja website: sojamindbody.com/schedule/ (make sure to click on "Adult Workshops"). You can also see Anna Valdiserri's and Rory Miller's workshops there, I highly recommend them.
I would like to spend a little time pitching my workshops here. The copy text is challenging to write because I'm in uncharted territory. I'm a cowbody doing my own thing.
The Circus Daoyin class is my attempt to bust yoga people out of the "prison" of the yoga mat. But I don't want to say that directly because "prison" sounds negative. So think about it as yoga in the fifth dimension, breaking out of the limitations of time and space. Spontaneity driven yoga. Yoga with a muse, or the Chinese version of the muse called Jade Maidens and Golden Lads. This class was a big hit with the Asian Bodywork community I taught in Chicago, specifically because it zeros in on how health practitioners can use self-cultivation to get better healing outcomes. But the design of this class is open ended, aimed at giving people new ways of experiencing their bodies in movement. It doesn't have a beginning and it doesn't have an end, wherever you are you can just jump right in!
The Dance As Self-Defense class is my new baby. I've taken all the funnest stuff in martial arts and put it into dance games. Think:A safe way to work with maximum momentum. Each game teaches principles of movement and perception. Since this class was so well received in Portland last year, I have been refining the games and inventing new ones. Whenever the tough guys I teach outside in the park aren't getting something, I've turned class into a dance lesson. My taijiquan and baguazhang students are all now learning the Waltz as a short-cut into martial arts skills. One of the beautiful things about this method is it by by-passes the normal emotional identity blocks people have. By changing the emotional context, it gives students an opportunity to experience the movement in new ways.
Please, please, please, tell your friends!
In other news, the Indian origins of Yoga are fighting back! When I was in the UK I got to see a secret family style of martial arts that includes an entire system of spatial-mind breathing, basically the same as Daoist jindan. And there are banana leaf texts to prove it. It is not surprising that a defense of the Indian origins of Yoga has been slow to come out. Hatha Yoga was tainted with performer and other low caste stigmas. And the secret family stuff usually comes with a prohibition against sharing the material outside of both one's family and one's caste. The supporting texts are also probably often written in languages that are not easily accessible.
Now there is an App for people who just want to get in fights more often! Rumblr is an easy way to document idiocy! And maybe, just maybe, it could create enough legal cover to bring back legal dueling. One can hope. The link has changed since I first looked at it a few days ago, they are upping their game. Go ahead and sign-in, it is anonymous.
Check out this cool exhibit which is going to be in London. And do keep an eye out for everyone's friend, the Cosmic Vagina!